Princess Charlene of Monaco has been announced as the new patron of Lifesaving South Africa.
Princess Charlene was appointed as patron of the charity by the Lifesaving South Africa President Dylan Tommy at a ceremony in Durban.
Princess Charlene established her own foundation in 2012 which has reached over 300,000 people across the world. The foundation raises awareness about the dangers of water as well as teaches children how to swim and stay safe in the water.
Speaking about her appointment as patron of Lifesaving South Africa, Princess Charlene said: “It is a great honour for me to be named patron of Lifesaving South Africa, an organisation that shares the same vision as my Foundation and one that I have always been inspired by.”
She added, “Lifesaving South Africa’s commitment to drowning prevention is remarkable and the spirit of volunteering that you are instilling in our young people is infectious.”
Princess Charlene is a passionate swimmer, representing South Africa at two Commonwealth Games and the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.
The Lifesaving South Africa president said: “We are extremely grateful to HSH Princess Charlene for agreeing to serve as the Patron for Lifesaving South Africa. With the Princess as our Patron and the partnership we have established with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, we will be able to achieve far greater success in our fight against drowning in South Africa”
From 2011-2016 over 3,000 deaths in South Africa were caused by drowning. Approximately 75% of all drownings in South Africa occur among young children under the age of five.
The partnership between Prince Charlene’s foundation and Lifesaving South Africa hopes to help boost water safety. In 2017 they will present their water safety programme in over 80 schools throughout the country.
Gavin Varejes, the President of Princess Charlene’s foundation also announced the distribution of 200 rescue boards gifted from the Foundation to LifeSaving SA. The donation means that every life-saving club throughout South Africa that works with the charity will receive a board to help them continue their important work within the communities.